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Surprising Science

A Frightening Diet Fad

A scheme to lose weight effortlessly begins by injecting pregnancy hormones into the body which, in theory, allay the hunger pains of a starvation diet that follows.

A diet first popularized in the 1950s is making a comeback and it is no less strange now than it was then. “In theory, daily shots of the hCG pregnancy hormone allow a dieter to maintain a starvation diet of 500 calories without feeling hunger pangs. On paper, it is easy to be skeptical. More difficult, however, is discounting the success stories of women like Mary Jo, a New Jersey native who appeared on ‘The Dr. Oz Show’ in February. ‘This diet is amazing,’ she told the audience, her voice cracking as she held back tears that were both exhausted and elated.”


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